Watching the antics of our backyard squirrels recently reminded me of the sacredness of God’s creation. In the same way He created me with unique quirkiness and personality, He created each of His creatures. Savoring moments with backyard squirrels, birds, and rabbits which frequent our yard, impressed upon my heart the fellowship of compassion in creation.
Though only humans bear the image of God, all of His creation bears the fingerprints of His love, Joy, and delight.
Welcome back to the garden for a time of Garden Grace, where we allow God to reveal Himself through His creation. Once a month we linger together gleaning all He has for us through the beauty of plants, trees, animals and insects. I can’t wait to share my most recent discovery with you!
compassion in creation
Each year I delight in celebrating my birthday on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, which falls on October 4th, the accepted anniversary of his death in 1226. Long known as the patron saint of animals; his writings reflect his reverence for all of God’s creation, demonstrating the fellowship of compassion in creation.
Though he lived long ago, I feel a kindred spirit with a man who so loved animals and revered God’s creation as fellowship with the very heart of God.
But more than a man with a deep love for the beauty and intricacy of creation, St Francis was a man of humility, gentleness, and compassion for his fellow man. Born into wealth, after returning from civil war in his native Italy, he chose poverty and a humble life of service to God and others.
Much of my delight in sharing my birthday with the commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi’s life, rests in our shared love of God’s creation and intense compassion for not only God’s creatures, but His penultimate creation of mankind.
the fellowship of the garden
Today, meditating upon Garden Grace and meeting God within His creation there, I share words and prayers of St. Francis of Assisi for you to join with me in igniting compassion for others and deeper reverence and appreciation for God and his ceation.
The Fellowship of man
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute youMatthew 5:44
“If we do not forgive perfectly, Lord, make us forgive perfectly, so that we may really love our enemies for love of you, and pray fervently to you for them, returning no one evil for evil, anxious only to serve everyone in you.”
St Francis of Assisi
“Blessed is the man who is patient with his neighbor’s shortcomings as he would like him to be if he were in a similar position himself.”
St. Francis of Assisi
Prayer of Peace by St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
The Fellowship of Creation
The Canticle of Brother Sun by St. Francis of Assisi
Praised be my Lord, by means of all Your creatures, and most especially by Sir Brother Sun, who makes the day, and illumines us by his light: for he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor; and is a symbol of You, God most High.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Prayer For Our Pets by St. Francis of Assisi
In Your infinite wisdom, Lord God, when You created the Universe You blessed us with all
living creatures. We especially thank You for giving us our pets who are our friends and who bring us so much joy in life. Their presence very often helps us get through trying times. Kindly bless my pet. May my pet continue giving me joy and remind me of Your power.
May we realize that as our pets trust us to take care of them, so we should trust You to take care of us, and in taking care of them we share in Your love for all Your creatures. Enlighten our minds to preserve all endangered species so that we may continue to appreciate all of Your creations.
Prayer For All Animal Friends by St. Francis of Assisi
Heavenly Father, our human ties with our friends of other species is wonderful and special gift from You. We now ask You to grant our special animal companions your Fatherly care and healing power to take away any suffering they have. Give us, their human friends, new understanding of our responsibilities to these creatures of Yours. They have trust in us as we have in You; our souls and theirs are on this earth together to give one another friendship, affection, and caring. Take our heartfelt prayers and fill Your ill or suffering animals with healing Light and strength to overcome whatever weakness of body they have.
Your goodness is turned upon every living thing and Your grace flows to all Your creatures. From our souls to theirs goodness flows, touching each of us with the reflection of Your love. Grant to our special animal companions long and healthy lives. Give them good relationships with us, and if You see fit to take them from us, help us to understand that they are not gone from us, but only drawing closer to You. Grant our prayer through the intercession of good St. Francis of Assisi, who honored You through all Your creatures. Give him the power to watch over our animal friends until they are safely with You in eternity, where we someday hope to join them in giving You honor forever. Amen.
The Fellowship of God
The Praises of God by St. Francis of Assisi
you alone are holy,
you who work wonders!
You are strong, you are great,
you are the Most High,
you are the almighty King,
you, holy Father, King of heaven and earth.
you are Three and you are One,
you are goodness, all goodness,
you are the higest Good,
Lord God, living and true.
You are love and charity, you are wisdom,
you are humility, you are patience,
you are beauty, you are sweetness,
you are sefety, you are rest, you are joy,
you are our hope
and our delight,
you are justice, you are moderation
you are all our wealth
and riches overflowing.
You are beauty, you are gentleness,
you are our shelter, our guard
and our defender,
you are strength, you are refreshment,
you are our hope.
you are our faith.
you are our love,
you are our complete consolation,
you are our life everlasting,
great and wonderful Lord,
all powerful God, merciful Savior!
The fellowship of compassion in the garden
Savoring my garden through the eyes of St. Francis of Assisi, invites me to the wonder of God’s love for all His creation; to a oneness with Him through appreciation and reverence for the infinite beauty and value of all His creation.
As we linger in the garden, may the majesty of God we behold fill our hearts to overflowing with compassion and humility to live in love and harmony with all men.